with apologies to my lil’ sis

“It’s probably just the flu.” my mom said as we drove home from Michigan. My four year old sister was lying on the floor of the station wagon, feverish and uncomfortable.
I was unimpressed. No, that’s not the word. I was aggravated. Blondie was stealing the show yet again.
She was so darn cute to my 11 year old melancholy self. 

(*disclaimer- details unclear, those who were part of this story please forgive me, sequences may be off, destinations wrong and ages slightly skewed)

Sometime that night, the fever spiked and her body went completely stiff.  (this was frightening)  Mom grabbed her stiff, flat body and ran up the steps to dip her in an ice cold bathtub. This was more than the flu.

Next thing I remember, my sister was admitted to Rainbow Babies Children’s hospital and I hung out in the waiting room coloring countless geometric pages…like these.

Her little body was stuck in the ICU fighting off encephalitis, while nurses played with her long blond hair. They would occasionally come out to show me the little bows and clips they brought for her and tell me how sweet my sister was… ~shrug~ …and, get my parents so they could go back and see her.  I didn’t see her for weeks. Either I was in the dark waiting room, or on the bottom bunk of my bed wondering  if my snarkiness caused this whole fiasco. Sometimes I would even go to school, sometimes.

Fourth grade holds only a few memories. I met my best friend, was yelled at not to ask “Mickey Mouse questions” by a substitute (which I suppose meant, “stupid questions”)  and was embarrassed that while I wasn’t in school- the class apparently spent their time drawing pictures and making cards for my sister. – thankfully they were not learning anything during my absence, as evidenced by the fact I moved along to fifth grade with the rest of them. 

Sometime during that long year, she was moved to a regular bed and started physical therapy. She had to learn to walk and talk all over again among her smiley therapists in their big bright playroom. This part I liked. We were finally out of the darkness, and yes, she really was adorable.  

(*note – I am not proud of this following truth)
 
Yes, she was cute, but I was still her big sister and was not terribly patient. I knew it was wrong, and I have felt bad about this for thirty years….

I…
…are you ready for this?

I always finished her sentences.

Okay, so maybe that does not sound so bad, but Kimmy, if you are reading this. I am sorry. (and mom, you told me not to – but I did, sorry.)  

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*written for the NaBloPoMo – what were your tween years like?
and this week’s prompt from the The Writers’ Post. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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Posted in art